1953: More than 50 years after Milwaukee’s first Major League team moved after just one season, the Major Leagues return, as the Boston Braves begin a new era of franchise relocation. The Braves make their debut in Milwaukee, and draw a National League record 1,826,297 fans to the brand-new Milwaukee County Stadium, while finishing in second place, with a 92-62 record. Leading the way for the Braves was 3B Eddie Mathews, who belted 47 home runs to lead the NL and Warren Spahn, who won a league-high 23 games.
1954: After Bobby Thompson breaks his ankle in spring training, the Braves are forced to play a young, unproven infielder in the outfield. That rookie whose name was Hank Aaron would go to hit 13 home runs, as the Braves finish in 3rd place with an 89-65 record.
1955: The city of Milwaukee plays host to one of the most exciting All-Star Games in Baseball history as the NL pulls out a 6-5 in 12 innings. It would mark three straight winning seasons while finishing in second place with an 85-69 record.
1956: The Braves are part of an exciting three-team battle for the National League Pennant all season, as Hank Aaron captures the Batting title. In the end, the experienced Brooklyn Dodgers took the Championship, with Braves finish one game back in second place with a 92-62 record.
1957: Using their strong second Place season to build off the Braves win the National League Pennant with a 95-59 record. Leading the Braves towards the National League Championship was Hank Aaron was the league MVP, leading the NL in homers and RBI, while Warren Spahn won the Cy Young with 21 wins. However, the unsung heroes of the season were quickly Wes Covington and Bob “Hurricane” Hazle who, both replaced injured players, Covington hit 21 homers, and Hazle batted .403 down the stretch. In the World Series, the Braves were matched up against the New York Yankees. The two teams split the first two games in New York. With New York the Yankees the opener, 3-1, behind Whitey Ford’s five-hitter and the Braves winning Game 2, 4-2, thanks to Lew Burdette’s pitching and left fielder Wes Covington’s rally-killing catch in the second inning. After the Yankees took Game 3, the Braves were in trouble in Game 4 after blowing a 4-1 lead in the ninth inning. The Yankees would take a 5-4 lead in the tenth, and the Braves were staring into the face of a 3-1 abyss. Nippy Jones led off the bottom of the tenth, getting hit in the foot with a pitch. Jones was awarded first after showing the umpire a shoe polish smudge on the baseball. After Felix Mantilla scored the tying run after pinch-running for Jones, Eddie Mathews ended the game with a two-run home run to right field to even the series. Lew Burdette shut down the Yanks again in Game 5 out dueling White Ford 1-0 to give the Braves a 3-2 series lead heading back to New York. After the Yankees won Game 6, Burdette would get the call again and win his third series game to capture the World Series MVP and the World Championship for the Braves.
1958: In a year of duos for the Braves win their second straight National League Championship with a 92-62 record. The 1-2 punch on the mound was Lew Burdette and Warren Spahn, who combined for 42 wins, while Hank Aaron and Eddie Mathews combined for 61 homers at the plate. In a World Series rematch with Yankees, the Braves get off to a flying start winning the first two games in Milwaukee behind the pitching of Warren Spahn and Lew Burdette. Burdette would even contribute at the plate smacking a three-run home run. After the Yankees took Game 3, the Braves took a 3-1 series lead as Warren Spahn pitched ten innings for his two series win. However, the Braves would wind up losing the series as the Yankees bats came alive beating Burdette twice in the final three games.
1959: With Eddie Mathews leading the league in home runs, and Hank Aaron winning the batting title, the Braves were once again one of the elite teams in all of baseball. However, with an 86-68 record, the Braves found themselves in a flatfooted tie with Los Angels Dodgers at the end of the season. This would make the best 2-of-3 tie-breaking series necessary, but a third straight World Series was not meant to be ads the Dodgers swept the Braves in two consecutive games.
1960: With new Manager Chuck Dressen, the Braves continue to be a strong pennant contender finishing in second place with a solid 88-66 record.
1961: Still pitching strong at the age of 40, Warren Spahn wins 21 games, on the way to collecting his 300th career win. The Braves would go on to finish in fourth place with an 83-71 record.
1962: The Braves end up in the middle of the pack for the second straight season finishing in fifth place, but posting a respectable 86-76 record.
1963: Warren Spahn is still going strong wins 23 games at the age of 42 to pass Eddie Plank for career wins by Left-Handed Pitcher, ad the Braves finish in sixth place with an 84-78 record. Leading the team at the plate was Hank Aaron, who misses the Triple Crown with 44 home runs, and 130 RBI.
1964: The Braves, whose once-proud box office records, were now a memory, contemplate another move. This time, Atlanta’s city is the target, as they offer the Braves use of a brand new state of the art stadium in a region where they would be the only Major League Team. The season also sees Warren Spahn show his age, as the legendary lefty finishes with a 6-13 record in his final season as a Brave. Despite the talks of relocation and Spahn’s struggles, the Braves finish with a solid 88-74 record.
1965: Following the 1964 season, the Braves reached an agreement to move the team to Atlanta for the 1965 season. Bud Selig, a local used car salesman, and minority Braves stockholder sued to block the move. Selig argued that a baseball team owed it to its community to remain loyal, and not seek new homes, because the loss of a baseball team meant the loss identity. A judge would grant an injunction forcing the Braves to stay in Milwaukee for one more season, but in the end, Atlanta’s move was not going to be stopped. The Braves would finish with an 86-76 record, despite playing a lame-duck season in Milwaukee. During the club’s 13 years in Milwaukee, the Braves finished each season above .500. While the Braves were on their way to Atlanta, the city of Milwaukee would on be without Major League Baseball for just five years, as Bud Selig, the man who fought to keep the Braves, would eventually bring a team back to Milwaukee in 1970.
©MMXII Tank Productions. Stats researched by Frank Fleming, all information, statistics, logos, and team names are property of Major League Baseball. This site is not affiliated with the Milwaukee Braves or Major League Baseball. This site is maintained for research purposes only. All logos used on this page were from Chris Creamer’s Sports Logos Page.
Page created on February 15, 2001. Last updated on April 8, 2012 at 10:20 pm ET.